Leader Blues

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

TOP STORY >> Beebe candidates line up

Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: Alderman Mike Robertson, a former mayor, is the only one to announce for the office to succeed Donald Ward.

With more than two months to go before the end of the July 20 to Aug. 9 period when independent candidates in Beebe must file for the seats they hope to win in November, the races being talked about are looking more and more like a game of musical chairs.

Alderman Mike Robertson ó who was mayor for one term almost eight years ago before losing to Donald Ward ó is the only announced mayoral candidate. Ward is not running for a third term.

Former Alderman Carol Crump, now Crump-Westergren, who lost her seat on the council during the last election to Robert-son, has announced for clerk-treasurer, while Clerk-Treasurer Paul Hill has announced for the city council.

Hill will run for the Ward 2, Position 2 seat now held by Ronnie Dean, who bought a historical home just outside Ward 2, rendering himself ineligible for a fifth term.

That is, unless he runs for the Ward 1, Position 2 seat now held by Janice Petray, wife of former Mayor Phil Petray, who lost after eight years to Robertson.

Alderman Bobby Robinson, Ward 3, Position 1, isnít running again.

ďJanet and I bought some land out of town and weíre moving this fall,Ē Robinson said Friday afternoon.
ďI hate to leave. Itís been 10 years and everybodyís been good to me,Ē he said.

So far, Robinsonís seat appears to be wide open. No one has announced or even started a rumor about a possible race.

But former Alderman Les Cossey says he will run for Robertsonís Ward 3, Position 2 seat on the council. So far, no one seems to be talking about a bid for the Ward 1, Position 1 seat held by Harold Welch.

But former Clerk-Treasurer Becky Short has long been ru-mored as a candidate for Ward 2, though whether she is interested in the seat currently held by Dean or Janet Rogers is not clear and Short hasnít announced anything.

As for Rogers, she is taking full advantage of the fact that independent candidates have more time to make up their minds than party candidates and whether she is or is not running isnít something she will talk about to the press.

ďIíll decide pretty soon, but Iím not prepared to say right now,Ē Rogers said.